Chief Flynn speaks in D.C. in support of assault weapons ban

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WITI) -- Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn spoke in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, February 27th on the contentious issue of an assault weapons ban.

Chief Flynn and U.S. Attorney John Walsh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning.

Chief Flynn came out in support of a bill before the Committee that would ban 157 types of "military style" assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that hold 10 or more bullets.

"Assault weapons are built to inflict violence against humans," Chief Flynn said.

Senator Lindsey Graham took issue with efforts to expand the background checks for purchasing guns. Graham was making his point that few violators are prosecuted now, when Chief Flynn jumped in the fray.

CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO VIEW THE EXCHANGE FROM WEDNESDAY MORNING'S HEARING.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein proceeded undeterred Wednesday in seeking an updated version of the assault weapons ban she sponsored in 1994 that expired a decade later.

At the emotional committee hearing, Feinstein brought together families who lost loved ones to gun violence, police officials and others to call for banning military style weapons from civilian use.

Fierce opposition by the influential National Rifle Association and conservative legislators, including some Democrats, makes it virtually impossible that the kind of ban proposed by Feinstein will win congressional approval.

Instead, the legislative focus has shifted to expanding and strengthening background checks for gun purchases, as well as toughening laws against gun trafficking and so-called straw purchases.

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing, Feinstein acknowledged the challenge, saying: “It’s an uphill climb.”

Clearly hoping the emotional scenes of Heslin and other victims of gun violence would generate public pressure on Congress to act, she said victory could be possible “with a little bit of help from the people of America.”

President Barack Obama has proposed a package that includes a ban on semi-automatic firearms that mimic military assault rifles, as well as limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds and requiring background checks on all gun sales to close a loophole for private transactions.

Feinstein is pushing the weapons ban component of legislation the Judiciary Committee will consider in coming weeks. She led the battle for the 1994 assault weapons ban, which ended in 2004 when Congress failed to renew it.